Becky Overstreet: The ‘lost ones’ of unemployment

January 18, 2014 

Brian Balfour’s conclusion in his Jan. 14 Point of View “True Tar Heel tally: more workers” that the unemployment rate has gone down drastically in North Carolina because all the unemployed workers who lost benefits went back to work is unsupported by the numbers. Before that claim can be made, we need an accounting of the approximately 180,000 unemployed who lost their benefits from July thru December.

They can’t be in the “quit trying” number because that number would have made a very steep climb, and it went up only a little. Can’t be accounted for by the 40,000 new jobs created – even if every one of those jobs was taken by a long-term unemployed worker there are still 140,000 unemployed unaccounted for.

As one of the 70,000 who lost benefits on June 30, I think these workers became the “lost ones” of North Carolina and are no longer enumerated in any of the unemployed statistics.

I was one of the lucky ones. I was finally able to find a job (part-time), but that didn’t happen until I had been without benefits for a month. I feel sorry for my fellow unemployed who still look for work, trying to live without benefits and being blamed for the high unemployment rate.

Becky Overstreet


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